5 Must Have Plugins for Your Joomla Website

Search engine algorithms like websites that have continually updates, and high quality content that people spend time on your site reading. For this reason, content management systems that make changing and updating the content on your website have become extremely useful. A popular one of these is Joomla with nearly 3 percent of all websites on the Internet using it. This content management system, when set up with managed Joomla hosting, is an effective solution for running a website. While offering most users tremendous functionality in the basic application, the software’s usefulness can be expanded through the use of plugins. Joomla currently has over 9,000 plugins available. This is so many that it becomes important to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff as far as which ones you may really need. Some plugins will be very specialized and may not be helpful for many users. The top Joomla extensions mentioned here will be those that will apply to a wide variety of websites and be useful to many who are running a website using the Joomla content management system.

1. Akeeba Backup

Backing up data is one of those chores that computer users typically don’t like to be bothered with, but can easily regret not keeping up with it. It’s one thing to lose a half a page of a word processor document when you forget to save it but losing a whole website would be painful. Fortunately, if you have the Joomla extension Akeeba, you never need to experience this pain. In addition to backing up your sites files and database, it can also allow you to migrate your data to another host or platform. The free version lets you make manual backups, and with the paid version you can set automatic backups to occur every preselected time interval. It has near perfect reviews on the extensions directory website and may be the single most important extension that anyone should have set up on their website.

2. JCE Editor

This is another extremely highly rated extension on the Joomla extensions directory and with good reason. This is a text editor that also makes working with images a breeze. It is far more capable than Joomla’s built-in editor and yet is extremely easy to use. Unlike some of the other extensions on this list, it is also completely free. This, plus the ease with which JCE enables one to manipulate their website’s content gives you no reason not to have this plugin installed on any Joomla website you create. It is especially popular with those who develop Joomla websites professionally to install and show this plugin to their clients. Because it functions much like a word processor, it makes it easy for their client to edit and update content on their own website.

3. FLEXIcontent

As a content management system, Joomla already has tools and capabilities for managing your content, but this free extension brings them to a whole other level. A so-called CCK or content construction kit, it enables you to manage content in several formats and varieties including any content that would be appropriate to articles, job offers, product catalogs and a myriad of other formats. This CCK plugin is more highly rated on the website than any other available for Joomla and its flexibility, ease of use, power and the fact that it’s free are the main reasons why.

4. SH404SEF

The best website in the world isn’t very relevant if nobody finds it on the Internet. That is where this search engine optimization (SEO) extension comes into the picture. This reliable and multifaceted extension is probably the most used SEO extension for the Joomla platform, and it is a must if you use your website for any kind of commercial purpose and need it to be found by customers in order to make a living. It optimizes your urls and metadata for search and provides helpful 404 error pages. SH404SEF also offers social SEO and lets you add Facebook, Twitter, Google+ LinkedIn and Pinterest buttons to any pages of your site that you wish and then track clicks on them. For the SEO novice, it provides some automatic enhancements to your Joomla websites search position right out of the box, and it provides the expert additional options for added search refinement.


5. Ignite Gallery

Having plenty of pictures is a common feature on many websites whether you use Joomla to create and maintain the content for that site or not. Thanks to the Joomla extension, Ignite Gallery, managing photos has never been easier. This handy extension allows you to categorize and sub-categorize photos, add image tags and Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest and Twitter share buttons for each image. You can position images anywhere on the page and give them search engine friendly urls. It’s not free, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a higher rated Joomla extension. Set up one or more image galleries on your website in minutes with Ignite Gallery.

The aforementioned list could have far more plugins added to it, but they do represent a few that, after installing and using them, you won’t know how you ever lived without them. Joomla does require certain, what are known as PHP extensions to be installed by the server running your website in order to be able to get the most out of it. For this reason, a hosting service that specializes in managed Joomla hosting may be your best bet, as they will then be able to add any server-side extensions that may be needed. With Joomla, the right extensions and the right hosting service, the Internet awaits to be dazzled by your content creations.